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Table of Contents

Understanding the Starting System

Troubleshooting: Why Mower Won't Start?

Maintaining Your Mower's Performance

  1. Resource Center
  2. Repair

Finding Out Why Your Riding Mower Won’t Start

3 min readUpdated Apr. 01, 2024Lyle WeischwillRiding Mower
Why Won’t My Riding Mower Start?

At Sears Home Services, we understand that a non-starting riding mower can be a major headache. With our comprehensive guide, you can troubleshoot why your riding mower won't start and find handy maintenance tips for its longevity. From battery glitches, ignition switch issues, to jammed fuel systems, we're here to help restore your mower's functionality.


  • The ignition system of your riding mower consists of includes the battery, ignition circuit, starter motor, and spark plug.
  • Find out how to check the components in the starting system to determine why your riding mower won’t start.
  • Maintain your riding mower to help prevent starting problems.

Understanding the Starting System

The starting system of a riding mower includes the battery, ignition circuit, starter motor, and spark plug. All these parts work in unison to kick-start your mower's engine. If your lawn mower won't start, it could be due to a weak or dead battery, a faulty ignition switch, failed component in the ignition circuit, a worn-out starter motor, or a malfunctioning spark plug. Our guide aims to help you understand these parts better and address the most common issues effectively.

Troubleshooting: Why Mower Won't Start?

Here are some simple steps to help you diagnose and fix common issues that could be the answer to 'why won’t my riding mower start?'.

1. Check the Battery and Connections

Ensure the battery is fully charged and correctly connected. Look for corrosion on the battery terminals and damage on the battery cables. Clean or replace as necessary.

2. Inspect the Spark Plug and Ignition System

Check the spark plug for fouling or damage. Examine the ignition switch and wiring for loose connections or damage. Clean, repair, or replace the ignition switch as required. Here’s a DIY video that shows how to troubleshoot the entire ignition system:

3. Examine the Fuel System and Carburetor

Confirm there's enough fresh fuel in the tank. Check the fuel filter and carburetor for blockages or damage. Clean, repair, or replace as needed.

Here’s a helpful DIY video that shows how to check the fuel system in a common riding mower:

If you've followed these steps and your lawn mower will not start, it may be time to seek professional assistance.

Maintaining Your Mower's Performance

Regular maintenance can prevent your lawn mower from not starting and extend its lifespan. Establishing a maintenance schedule as per manufacturer's guidelines, cleaning and lubricating key parts, and proper storage are all crucial.

  • Routine maintenance: Regular maintenance tasks may include oil changes, air filter replacement, spark plug checks, and belt and blade inspections. Following a consistent routine helps identify potential problems early and prevent instances where your lawn mower won't start.
  • Cleaning and lubrication: Remove debris from the mower deck to prevent airflow obstruction and overheating. Lubricate moving parts like wheel bearings and blade spindles to reduce friction and ensure smooth operation.
  • Proper storage: If storing your mower for an extended period, drain the fuel tank or add a fuel stabilizer. Disconnect the battery and store it in a cool, dry place. Protect your mower from weather damage with a cover or by storing it in a covered area.

By adhering to these maintenance tips, you can keep your riding mower in top condition and prevent instances where you wonder 'why won’t my riding mower start?'. Always consult your owner's manual for specific instructions and prioritize safety when performing maintenance tasks.

Schedule your riding mower repair now!

With years of expertise, our technicians can diagnose and repair your riding mower no matter the problem, so you can get back to mowing quickly.

Call (213) 596-2538 or schedule online now.

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